The U.S. Marine Corps’ F-35B brief takeoff and vertical landing stealth aircraft efficiently completed simulated defensive combat air patrol with live AIM-9 Sidewinder short-range missiles made by Raytheon, based on 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit.
The Marine Corps conducted a series of air-to-air missile exercise during the Wasp Amphibious Ready Group rotation in the Indo-Pacific region to reinforce interoperability with companions and serve as a ready-response force for any contingency, while concurrently providing a versatile and lethal disaster response force prepared to perform a variety of military operations.
The rehearsal was along with the hot reload of ammunition along with GBU-12 Paveway II Laser-Guided Bombs and GBU-32 Joint Attack Munitions, and 25-mm ammunition with a GAU-22 cannon.
The air-to-air missile exercise validated weapons assembly and loading procedures on the flight deck of the boat and dispayed the F-35B’s flexibility to engage airborne targets offensively. The missile focused and efficiently employed LUU-2 flares dispensed out of an MV-22B Osprey throughout flight operations, per Maj. Jeffrey Davis, F-35B detachment official-in-command with VMM-265.
The AIM-9X is the most recent member in the fleet of AIM-9 Sidewinder short-range missiles made by Raytheon. It’s an infrared air-to-air missile initially developed for the US Air Force and the US Navy. The AIM-9X is presently in service with over 40 nations around the world.
The AIM-9X Sidewinder missile is the first short-range, air-to-air missile for use on the F-35.